Is A Chance Meeting Really Just Chance?

Years ago, a chance meeting left me yearning for more.medium_7864852790

The first encounter was brief but I have never forgotten it.

Something left an impression on me.  What was it?

The voice on the phone perhaps?

The feeling that I had found that perfect match?
You know…when your values are validated.

When someone else thinks the same as you.

And I don’t just mean you both like vanilla ice cream with butterscotch sauce.

I mean your core values;
the ones that when challenged make you angry,
unable to believe that someone would have a differing opinion.

I had such an encounter — 5 years ago
and have longed ever since to see if my intuition was correct.

Lately my intuition has been strong.  In fact, I have been surprised how it is serving me.  So you can imagine both my excitement and trepidation when I decided that today I would have my answer.

I’ve imagined it all – the smells, the lighting, the views, the location, the sounds, the ambience, the people milling about.

Could I be expecting too much?

Thankfully, my intuition served me again.  In fact, it offered me a full course of overflowing ‘You Were Right!‘  Love when that happens!

Five years ago, I was working on a project to bring bird nesting boxes to schools across the country, working in conjunction with Bird Studies Canada and I wanted to send appropriate gifts to businesses who were donating their services to aid in the project.

Surfing the net, I stumbled upon a place in Toronto that sold ‘certified bird friendly’ coffee.

One call to the owner and I knew I’d found my match.

He owned a coffee shop by the lake that not only sold organic sustainably farmed bird friendly coffee, but all their snack and meal offerings were organic too.

Touted as a neighbourhood hang-out, on the shores of the lake, playground near by, jazz on the weekends – I was hooked.

Buy gifts of coffee for the donors? No-brainer.  Done.  Check.

…but there had to be more.  This could not be a one time encounter. 

I had to see this place in person.

Since I don’t live in the neighbourhood, I once sought it out when I thought I was nearby, but to no avail.

Today however, I would be nearby – very nearby – so I plotted and planned to go.

The small building, one side completely covered with a mural of an underwater scene with the undercarriage and feet of a duck gracing the surface, the facade painted cream with garishly red-trimmed windows and mouldings, made it hard to miss.

I entered with anticipation, ready to meet a soul mate.

Large windows filled the shop with light, it’s squeaky door announcing one and all.  Two bay windows offered cozy nooks to read or people watch.

An old wooden church pew allowed for plenty of seating with iron and marble tables small enough for intimate chats or a laptop.

The back room with diner-style booths and more cozy chairs in small groupings took advantage of the windows overlooking the playground and lake which although partially frozen now and cold outside, I was tempted to get a ‘to-go’ and stroll the boardwalk.

Instead, I selected a spot on the pew and watched the regulars come and go, some being addressed by name and chatting with the efficient staff.

‘A regular’ sits beside me on the pew – his favourite spot, he shares, telling me why mine is not quite right.

Jazz plays on the stereo.  Aromas of freshly ground coffee and healthy soup fill the air.

The wooden planked floor and burlap coffee bags used to cover inventory on the shelves add to the old charm of the place.

Gorgeous photographs of birds hang gallery style on the wall behind me.

Organic coffee in bags for home brewing and 5 kinds of organic chocolate tantalize me.  I’m already considering what to buy to relive the experience at home, (or on the way home as in the case of the chocolate).

It is places like this that bring together my value of ecology and ethical farming practices.

The connection of like-minded people, where small things we do on a daily basis to support local initiatives, which in turn support a larger cause and bring awareness to environmental issues, make me feel that there is hope for what I hold dear.

It is a place in the world, albeit a tiny place, where I feel the fight has been won and all is right in the world.

A place where my soul is rejuvenated.

And that, my friend, was not chance, but destiny.

Is there a place in your world where you feel your values are supported?
A place you love to go because somehow it resonates with your soul?  Share it below.

Bird-Friendly coffee shop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Birds and Beans
Another of my faves for very similar reasons: CoffeeEco, Kingston, Ontario

photo credit: Linh H. Nguyen via photopin cc

One Simple Way To End It All

garden June 6-06 035 (1)Tired of wishing things were different?

Sick of hoping things will change?

Discouraged by events not happening as you had imagined?

Me too.

Well I know one simple way to end it all.

I’ve been doing a lot of mindset work lately with a kind and wonderful woman named Therese Skelly.  She is a business coach, heck person, like no other I’ve met.

If you, like me, believe in the Law of Attraction, well we are likely babes in the cradle compared to Therese.  Therese embodies and imbues the Law as if she wrote it herself.  What’s more, she can extract from you deep-set beliefs like you wouldn’t believe and turn them on their head.

We’re complicated creatures, us humans, and it is surprising what makes us tick.

One of Therese’s lessons is to teach you to own your value; something many of us let others bestow upon us (often which are false messages rooted in jealousy, ignorance or fear) and then wear like a suit of armour shielding us from other more realistic heartfelt honest messages.

It was with this lesson that this next message came my way.

While perusing the blogs I follow, a recent post struck my eye; Tracie Louise’s post entitled “Giving Up Hope.”

Concerned, what I read imparted a startling message; her solution to end her turmoil.

Her philosophy, so simple and humble, struck my heart and mended the tapestry of lessons past.

Her message: she is tired of hoping for things to change, for ‘hope’ gives you an ‘out’.  I hope this will happen, but if it doesn’t, that’s ok because I can always fall back on blah blah blah. 

Instead, she is making the conscious choice to give up ‘hope’ and replace it with ‘Intention’.

Wow.  Think about it: Replace ‘Hope’ with ‘Intention’.

Aaaaaaaaaa! Do hear the angel chorus?

That one simple shift: Replace ‘Hope’ with ‘Intention’.

Simply change the way you look at the situation.

“I hope one day to be able to travel to Europe” changes to “I’m going to travel to Europe” and suddenly the planning begins.

How can I afford it? Start socking away bits of cash, get a part-time job, sell un-used items on eBay.

Where will I go? Start the mental planning, pour over maps, google travel deals.

When will I go?  Pick a date and write it on your calendar.

By simply making the mental shift, you have opened the door for new possibilities (my new favourite word).

The Law of Attraction is strong, my friend, so be sure your intention is clear.

I’ll bet you’ll be surprised how things start falling into place.

Giving up Hope for Intention. Are you with me?

photo credit: Carolin Grandin
All rights reserved.

Climate Change & Extreme Weather – The Conclusive Connection.

Some camps are still trying to debunk the connection between Climate Change, a.k.a. Global Warming, and the extreme weather events that are occurring with increased frequency and intensity across the globe.

While storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis and droughts engulf, destroy, and devastate cities, towns and villages, the discussion continues.

“Can we prove that climate change and these recent severe weather events are related?”

REALLY?  {Hand-to-forehead} AAHHHH!!!

Eminent scientist and environmentalist (and I’m proud to say Canadian),
Dr. David Suzuki, explains the undeniable link.

The question now should be:

“What can we do to HALT this process?”  

Do you believe there is a connection between climate change/global warming and extreme weather events?”
Leave your comments below.

David Suzuki Foundation website: www.davidsuzuki.org
Video credit: http://www.vimeo.com

Bright-Side Of The Web: Environmental Solution?

In this time of environmental crisis, we need many solutions.

And the more problems that each solution can address the better.

Akinori Ito, a Japanese inventor, has developed a machine that addresses three of our top environmental issues:

  1. over-abundance of plastic garbage
  2. CO2 emissions
  3. need for oil

Watch and be amazed.

What do you think? Is he on to something?

Stop sharing those silly cat videos and share this one! 

video credit: YouTube

5 Ways To Beat The Pity Party

small__5077159890My youngest has just left the nest and my definition of who I am, or who I consider myself to be, has altered – a lot.

While millions of children are excitedly starting school, just as many parents are experiencing a loss like they have never felt before.

Whether your child is starting Kindergarten or heading off to College or University, September is a time that many mothers (and fathers too), especially the ones that have chosen to be full-time parents, feel an intense combination of both freedom and loss.

The focus of the vast majority of your time and energy has suddenly disappeared and you are left wondering who you are without your children.

What is your mission now?

Your equilibrium is thrown for a loop.

Some revel in the seeming abundance of free time to do the things they’ve complained about, resented they couldn’t do, or wished they could while catering to the needs of the other members of their household.

Still others are mourning the loss of their entire identity.

Be it JK or undergrad, when you send your little one (my little one is over 6′ tall) off into the world alone, you are left watching their back, proud of who they are and the job you have done thus far.

But as they walk away and the path before you clears, you are left wondering what direction you are to take.

Where will this path-untrodden lead you?

You spent all your time preparing them, but no-one prepared you.

If you, like me, are facing this brave new world, think of September as the new January and make some resolutions for yourself.

Think of this as a time for your own personal growth.

Take this opportunity to nurture yourself.

Stuck for ideas?

5 Ways To Beat The Pity Party

1.  Chum the Waters
Set up a regular schedule for meeting up with your friends.  Whether it’s once a week for coffee and a chat or every morning for a brisk walk, getting together with your pals will inspire, relax and rejuvenate your likely (highly) neglected self.

2. Pastime Pleasure
Ever wanted to learn how to paint, dance, write poetry, glass-blow, woodwork? Now’s your chance.  There are lots of classes offered at community centres and adult education schools.  Or find a local “Meet-Up” online and make new connections with like-minded folks.  There is no time like the present to pick up a new hobby or resurrect an old one.

3. Grow Your Gray Matter
Want to get back into the workforce but feel underqualified?  Always wanted to learn another language? Want to learn more about a specific topic you’ve always been interested in?  There are plenty of online webinars and free university courses ready for you to absorb.  Or look into adult education courses at your local high school or college.

4. Weigh In On The Positive
Now is a great time to start a new exercise routine.  Getting fit increases your energy and self-esteem.  If you’ve been putting it off, your excuse just walked out the door so get up off the couch and march to a new beat – yours.  Try a 30-Day Challenge to get you motivated and sticking to your goals.

5. Serve & Be Served
Volunteering is a great way to feel useful and appreciated with the added bonus of helping out individuals and organizations who need a hand.  There are many volunteering opportunities such as childcare centers, schools, libraries, food banks, homeless shelters, senior centers, and hospitals to name only a few.  Need more suggestions? Your library, church or community center may be able to point you in the right direction or try an online search through your town or city’s website.  By serving others, you serve yourself.

Focussing your new-found time on things that interest you will not only take your mind off missing your ‘little’ one(s), it will boost your energy and attitude.

Use this time to forge a new path.

Explore its twists and turns and enjoy the scenery along the way.

There’s a new you waiting to be discovered.

For me, I’ve signed up for two Coursera classes and a pottery class!

Have your kids flown the coop? Share how you are feeling and coping.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rushpics/5077159890/

 

Bright-Side of the Web: Find Your Life’s Purpose in 5 Minutes or Less

medium_5403735381Twenty-five years after graduation, 80% of his financially successful and privileged Yale alumni were unhappy.  Adam Leipzig examined the lives of the remaining 20% to discover what the graduates in the happy group all had in common.

Broken down into 5 simple steps, Adam, a movie producer, distributer and happy person, helps you discover your life’s purpose, in 5 minutes or less: watch his Tedx Presentation here.

What’s Your Life’s Purpose?
Share below.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/bass_nroll/5403735381/”>bass_nroll</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;
 

Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm…

medium_3011210482

“Most of the shadows of this life
are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/an_untrained_eye/3011210482/”>an untrained eye</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Sharing The Love

medium_4164759025In the spirit of all things Pollyanna, I am expanding my site with Brighter-Side-of-Life resources.

See my new page: Sharing The Love

This page is where I will share products and services that I have come across that I think you, my dear readers, will appreciate.

My intention is not to make hard sells, you won’t find that here, only to propagate positivity.

The page has just begun and will continue to expand so please check back often.

For you writers out there, it is worth your while to check it out TODAY. There is an opportunity listed (the first and only one at the time of publishing this post – I wanted to get the word out fast) that I am positive you will be happy to have come across.

I wish you all a wonderful day.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandoncwarren/4164759025/”>Brandon Christopher Warren</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm…

medium_5572197407

My old career was lovely and interesting, 
but I was in it because 

I was being more loyal to my fears
than to my dreams.

Tara Mohr

Can you relate to this statement?  Share your thoughts below. 

Tara Mohr: taramohr.com
Photo credit: photo credit: N02/5572197407/”>LifeSupercharger via photopin cc

Winning The Triple Crown

Are you kidding me?

You hardly know me?

Yet there it was.  Laid out in black and white.

I read it again.  Yup, no mistake.

Someone new-ish to my blog, a recent follower, a virtual friend, awarded me not one, not two, but three awards at once!

A triple crown!  A triple-decker!  A super-duper triple ace!

I’ve never heard of such a thing, yet apparently it exists.  She herself was just awarded it.

This gracer of triple excitement is Oliana Kim of Whispering Insights.  A thoughtful (as in deep thinker, not just kind), soul whose life work is helping others and whose blog showcases her diversity in prose and contemplation.

So what are these awards you ask?

First-Best-Moment-Award-Winner
The Best Moment Award:
Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered –
Savoring the experience of quality time.

versatilebloggernominations-copy1
The Versatile Blogger Award is awarded based on “the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page…the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them.  Honoring those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.”

sunshine-blog-award
The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others.

So, you can see why I think this is a big deal.  I am grateful and honoured that Oliana thought me worthy.

Bloggers supporting bloggers.  Ones who have become your followers.  Ones who feel that your words are worth reading when your latest post falls into their Reader or their Inbox.

That’s pretty satisfying.

Thank you, Oliana.

But of course, with these awards come some rules and some homework.

Here are the rules.

  1. Display the award picture.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you.
  3. Pass the nomination along to 15 blogs you have recently discovered.
  4. Contact the nominees.
  5. Share seven things about yourself.

#1. check, #2. check, #3…

Since I take these awards seriously, I want to ponder my nominations carefully.

There are bloggers whom I follow and I have previously awarded them well-deserved awards so rather than risk repetition, I ask that I be granted more time to further explore the wonderful world of WordPress in order to discover even more bloggers worthy of the triple crown.

So I’m going to bend the rules a tad and as I come across a blog that I feel fits the criteria, I will notify them individually.

Forgive me blogging gods.

So #3 & #4 are in process.

That leaves #5 – share 7 things about yourself.

  1. I am older than some and younger than others, yet feel younger than I am old.
  2. Given the choice, chocolate usually wins, even if I really feel like having chips.  (I think it’s a mental thing that chocolate is more decadent.)
  3. I am the youngest of three, five and seventeen (that’s siblings and cousins).
  4. I think cows and elephants are very cute!
  5. I bought a plant at a fair when I was in grade 3 and it’s still alive! (We’re talking like 40 years ago! – Hey! stop doing the math!)
  6. Autumn is my favourite season.
  7. I once revived a hummingbird.

So there you have it.  Seven things I am sure you are glad to know about me.

But this you must know, I am very grateful for this triple honour.  It makes me feel like all the time it takes to write these posts is worth every minute.

Triple bowls of happiness to you today.  I’m sharing the Joy!